To Give or Not to Give . . .

To anyone conflicted over a request for money from a couple who became pregnant at a time when it was anything but financially expedient. And especially if you’re struggling with feelings of resentment.  
Dear Conflicted,

My greatest concern isn’t the issue of money, but the attitude of our culture towards children that’s behind this question. What do you think they should do, and be honest with yourself, kill the child? Believe me, there’s not much of a difference between that and “preventative” measures. Many of the popular methods are abortificants (kill any embryos that are conceived). Children are a gift from god–no matter what their  parents’ circumstances.

I know how hard it can be to separate issues. Pray about this one first and foremost. Because it’s important to understand that this child is not on this earth through the “carelessness” of his/her parents. S/he is growing and alive in the womb today because God has a special purpose for that life–whether s/he comes to the end of this life’s journey tomorrow or 100 years from now.

God doesn’t always give convenient gifts. You’re not the first to question His wisdom, nor will you be the last. But whether we believe it or not, He does know what He is doing. I know this struggle, believe me. I’ve been there. I’ve asked myself why He gives people who turn their backs on the Way to live in sin children and strike barren those who do things “right.” One thing I’m learning–He is still on His throne, and He brings the rain on the just(ified) and the unjust, those who deserve it and those who don’t, those who have the resources–and especially those who don’t.

It is not our place to prevent life, to give it, or to take it away. That is his domain and we should leave it to Him. He’s got a real perchant for bringing things into our lives that we lack the natural strength, resources, ability etc. to handle. So that we will learn to rely on Him.

On the money, let’s examine this: why do you resent this request? Why do they always need money? Are they in need because they will not work? The bible says not to give to someone who is poor because they are unwilling to work for their bread. Are they poor because they are financially irresponsible? Giving financially irresponsible people money is the proverbial “give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day” situation; such people don’t need money, they need taught how to manage it. Quite a few of us fall into this category, but pregnancy alone doesn’t qualify no matter how financially inconvenient God’s timing is.

Are they poor as a result of intentionally sinning against God and running from him? Does it have a purpose in His plan for them? This is where we need to pray and seek His guidance. Because there are situations where by helping someone out we are hindering His work. But at the same time, this is often used as excuse to not give when we feel Him calling us to show generosity.

Lastly, or are none of these applicable and they are simply poor due to hardships that have come through no fault of their own, such as all their income going to medical bills, or the primary breadwinner’s pay/job being suddenly cut? God provides, but how often does his provision come via His church coming together to lift each other up in such circumstances?

Or is the issue simply that you feel it was financially irresponsible of them to choose to NOT play God and did not have the audacity to tell Him how many children He is allowed to give them and that is why you are angry? Sadly, you are not alone by far, but that idea is of the world and rightly has no place in the Church of God.

If that is the only “irresponsible” thing they’ve done financially, if none of the other caveats apply, then it is the role of the church to help their own. Believe me, if they’re sane, they’re probably scared to bring another child into the world in their circumstances. It tries a couple’s faith and they need the church’s support in regards to the child, not her judgment and condemnation; especially when they conceived within the bonds of marriage! It’s a shame on the church that we’re too “loving” to correct a church member actively engaged in sexual immorality, but gossip behind the backs of married couples that dare to leave the family planning in the Hands it belongs in! 

Though adoption is an option to pray about, the Church should support them whether they decide to keep this gift or bless another couple with the child.

One last consideration: Do you have the money to give? No matter how deserving someone is, you have to feed your own family first;  you can’t give what you don’t have. But at the end of the day, giving requires wisdom and discernment. Pray about it and give what God leads you to–no more and no less. It’s His money, after all. But it’s likely they need more than mere money anyway. There are other ways to give.

In Christ’s Service,

Andrea Graham

P.S. Today is my birthday!